Kangaroo killer Ashley Sorenson has been locked up over his role in the “barbaric” torture and killing of 21 kangaroos in the tranquil south coast town of Tura Beach last year.
A man who “orchestrated” the killing of 21 much-loved kangaroos on the south coast, in an act of “barbaric cruelty” says he was simply trying to make friends after moving away to the area to “start afresh”.
Ashley Sorenson, 34, faced the Queanbeyan Local Court on Friday, 10 months after he sat in the passenger seat, egging on 19-year-old co-offender Nathan Sanger to run down kangaroos at Tura Beach north of Eden.
Sorenson had previously pleaded guilty to torturing and killing three of the kangaroos.
Sanger was last year sentenced to a two-year intensive corrections order, with 500 hours of community service.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Bernard Goonan told Magistrate Roger Clisdell on Friday argued Sorenson should be handed a hefty jail sentence to deter other would-be animal killers.
Sgt Goonan said reading the details of Sorenson’s crimes “makes you sick”.
“They’re the most egregious example of barbaric cruelty,” he said.
Sorenson’s lawyer, Megan North, said her client was “trying to make new friends” by going drinking with Sanger, and an 18-year-old back seat passenger, who was not charged.
They mowed down the kangaroos on their way home.
Sorenson had moved to the south coast to get away from “anti-social networks” in Goulburn, Ms North said.
Magistrate Roger Clisdell said a text message Sorenson sent to Sanger saying “what’s the grand total” was clearly about the number of kangaroos killed.
“When leaving the club, for some extraordinary reason, the driver Mr Sanger and Mr Sorenson engaged in behaviour which lead to the deaths of 21 kangaroos,” he said.
“It seems that once the bloodlust started, it was difficult to stop.”
According to court documents, police found Sorenson’s ute dented up, and splattered with kangaroo blood.
The case was “pretty much open and shut”, Mr Clisdell said, and Sorenson’s delay in pleading guilty showed he lacked remorse for his actions.
Mr Clisdell said Sorenson, who has a serious history of violent crimes, and who has served jail, should have been “the adult in the group”.
He described the killings as “disgraceful and despicable acts of slaughtering innocent animals”.
Mr Clisdell sentenced Sorenson to 20 months jail, with a non-parole period of 12 months.
Sorenson shared a tongue kiss with his partner on the floor of the court before being led away in handcuffs.